I’ve written a lot of information about article marketing, but I seem to have skipped over something that’s very important to some people…
…how do you actually start writing?
I’ve been writing enough now that the question almost doesn’t make sense to me — after all, you just start writing (typing), don’t you?
But the more I thought about it, the more important the question became, because I imagine there are a LOT of people who’d love to get free, targeted, pre-qualified traffic to their web site using simple little articles, but the act of getting started is holding them back.
So I’m going to attempt to lay it out in such a manner that anyone should be able to get started writing an article.
You’ve probably heard this in regards to how someone should give a speech:
1. Tell them what you’re going to tell them.
2. Tell them.
3. Tell them what you told them.
In other words, set up the learning environment by giving them a preview of what’s coming. Then explain whatever it is you’re trying to teach. And end up by recapping what you just taught them. That same series of steps can be used to write an article.
Let me give you an example.
I’m not a cook but I could pretty easily find out the steps needed to cook a steak. If I wanted to write an article telling people how to do that, I could start like this:
3 Easy Steps to Cooking a Great Steak
“Most people like steak and so I’m going to teach you how to cook one in 3 easy steps.”
That could be considered the opening, or telling them what I’m going to be telling them.
Then I’d put in three steps, such as:
1. The best type of meat to use.
2. Spices and preparing the steak.
3. The cooking process.
For each one of those I’d type up a paragraph explaining the step. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just plain language is good enough.
And finally, I’d end the article with a summary, that could be something like:
“As long as you follow those 3 easy steps, you shouldn’t have any problems. Try it for yourself the next time you have company.”
Believe it or not, that’s ALL you need to do to write an article.
But let’s bump it up just a little bit.
My opening paragraph above is very short. I wrote it that way on purpose, just to show you that flowery language and lots of words aren’t required. However, if you can string a sentence or two together, don’t hold back. I’d probably use something like this for a real article on how to cook a steak…
“There’s nothing like the smell of a steak cooking on the grill. And when a steak is set down in front of you and your mouth starts watering, nobody better get in your way!
But a juicy steak doesn’t just happen. If you don’t know what you’re doing you can end up with a steak that’s dry and tough. Not only are you out the money that steak cost, but if it happens at a party you’re hosting you’ll never hear the end of it!
The good news is that cooking a good steak isn’t rocket science, and I’m going to show you three easy steps that are designed to make the process simple and the outcome guaranteed.”
There are two important things to notice about this new introduction:
1. I tried to use some of the senses in talking about the taste and smell — that can help the reader really get into the article.
2. There are a lot more words in the second example.
You don’t want to pad an article just to increase the word count, but a better article is often a little plump — not just skin and bones (facts and figures).
If all you can manage right now is something like the first example, go for it! A skinny article is better than no article, any day.
And the more you write, the better at it you will get. Seriously — there are some things that just naturally increase as you do it more and more and writing is one of those skills. Give it a shot and see what you can come up with — you don’t have to be Hemingway on your first try (or even your 100th try).